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Make-Or-Break Time For the Spurs?

This is an unusual position for the San Antonio Spurs, looking up to not one, but two teams in the Western Conference standings. Since Tim Duncan joined the franchise 10 years ago, the Spurs have finished with worse than the second-best record in West only twice - in Duncan's rookie season in 1997-98, when 56 wins was good for fifth and 1999-00, when they finished fourth.

But unless both Dallas and Phoenix have a colossal collapse in the season's second half, the Spurs (33-16) are assured of being no better than third when the playoffs begin. "That's the position we're in," Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said. "Whether I like it or not, doesn't matter."

The disparity between East and West this season was never more glaring, perhaps, than last night, when the third-best team in the West whipped the Eastern Conference's second-best team by 27 points. Yes, the Wizards were without Antawn Jamison last night, but as Duncan astutely pointed out after the game, "We played them early in the year [with Jamison] and we were able to beat them pretty good then, too."

So, obviously, the Spurs had bigger concerns than the Wizards last night, having lost their previous two games in Utah and Phoenix. Now halfway through an eight-game rodeo road trip, Popovich said it was "a season-making trip for us - or season-breaking." While it may seem pretty early to make such a proclamations, it speaks to small margin for error with the Spurs with three months left on the season.

They aren't necessarily focused on catching Dallas or Phoenix, though. "They've got that lead and we're in a position where we're still within striking distance. We want to be in the best position going into the playoffs," Duncan said. While San Antonio is still considered an elite team, Utah, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers are closer to catching the Spurs than they are to catching Dallas or Phoenix. Popovich joked about the nice cushion the Mavericks and Suns have created in the West, saying: "We got 'em right where we want 'em," he said. "They're thinking they're pretty good. We lose a few more, then we're going to put on the steam."

If only. San Antonio learned last season - when it won a franchise-record 63 games but exited in the second round - that earning the top seed in the playoffs doesn't really amount to much. Rings don't come with regular-season performances. "Being first always helps, but it doesn't mean anything," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "I always prefer being on top. That means that you're doing great. At this point in the season, we know there are two teams in Phoenix and Dallas that's doing better than us. They are playing at a great level. We know we're not that kind of team right now, but we believe we can become a team like that."

This season, unlike any other in the Duncan era, the Spurs appear to be aging rapidly (nine of the 12 players on the floor last night, including Duncan, were older than 30); outside of Ginobili, they lack a dynamic, athletic wing player to keep up with the young guns in Dallas and Phoenix (James White is the answer?); and they have yet to find a consistent backup for point guard Tony Parker (they've basically given up on Beno Udrih). The Spurs have also been uncharacteristically inconsistent - "We've been up and down, up and down," Duncan said - improving to just 10-8 since January with last night's win.

"We're getting a little bit old," Parker said, "and all those close games we used to win, this year we've got a tendency to lose them. But I think we're in the right direction. I think we're improving. We definitely still have a chance to win [the West]. It's going to be down to Game 7 and one possession, like always. It's going to be a big battle."

Popovich said recently that he doesn't intend to make any trades this season, so this is likely the team that will hit the floor in the postseason. Reserve forward Michael Finley said he isn't worried about what others think of the Spurs, especially those who look at the age of the roster. "That's an interesting comment that a lot of people say. What is the perfect age for a team? You're either too old or too young. We have no idea," Finley said. "We're just going to go out and do the best that we can as a team. If the best that we can is to go all the way [or] if it's to come up short, we have to deal with it . . .We can't worry about how things are going in Dallas, we have to right the ship here in San Antonio. Once we do that, we'll be okay."

By Michael Lee  |  February 8, 2007; 9:42 AM ET
 
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Next: Battlin' big men at it again

Comments

Ah what the Wizards would look like if they had a front line of Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert.

Hmmmmmmm

Posted by: dc | February 8, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful blog about the Spurs. Last nights game makes one think it is not how old but how well you play. The Wiz are younger and probably just as talented but did not play well as a team. I think the team's pysche is fragile right now and does not handle adversity well. In past years they may have felt that nothing extraordinary was expected so whatever was achieved was good. Now they have the responsiblity of living up to expectations and that is hard and not being handled well. It takes mental toughness and I am not sure they have that yet. Note I say yet because it will come, hopefully, not when they are "old."
Bltached played with energy last night and did well except he could not shoot (but who can for the Wiz right now). However, much is not expected from him so it is easier to produce. Jarvis has the burden of expectations and it is getting to him.

GAR

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | February 8, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Spurs have got nothing out of the draft in recent years, so their old lineup is no surprise. They, I believe, sold two first round draft picks (Barbosa and John Salmons) getting no picks in return, drafted Udrih and some French guy with the word "Project" tattooed on this head. Most of the team's deals, however, expire at the end of next season (except for Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and Jackie Butler), so they can retool then.

Posted by: Red | February 8, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What was the median age of the 72-win Bulls? Beyond being younger, maybe the Suns & Mavs are simply hungrier than the Spurs. At least in the regular season marathon.

Posted by: reispace | February 8, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

In defense of the wizards, missing Jamison is a big deal, in the same way that missing parker or ginobli would be for the Spurs. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Wizards appear to still be feeling their way through how to play without Jamison. That the Spurs beat the Wizards in San Antonio is hardly a surprise. Also, while there isn't any doubt that the West is much better top to bottom than the East, I'm not sure how much of a conclusion you can draw from one game. The Wiz beat the Suns in Phoenix and Dallas in DC - no one was saying that these games indicated that a middle of the pack team (whcih the Wiz were at the time) in the East shows that the East is dominant over the best in the West. The Wizards match up poorly and play poorly against teams like San Antonio - a team with a good low post player who can pass, spot shooters who are deadly, and discipline on defense. This type of team exposes the Wizards' defensive shortcomings and takes away the fact break and the broken court offense that the Wizards feast on. We'd be lucky to take two games in a seven game series with the Spurs, but would have a much better chance to put up a good showing against Dallas or Phoenix, who in turn, mark my words, will stomp a slowing and aging San Antonio team in the playoffs.

Good quotes from the Spurs tho - the quotes from Duncan don't seem typical of him. Almost sounds like they are beginning to press a bit.

Posted by: charles jones | February 8, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Spurs have been there and done that. They know how to win in the post-season. I guarantee you that neither the Mvas like the Suns want to face them in the second round of the playoffs.

They are a veteran team and they know the season is a marathon and the playoffs are a sprint. Position yourself to play your best ball the last month of the season going into the post-season.

I would not be suprised in they make the WCF at the expense of the Suns or Mavs, and it would not be a shocker if they are back in the Finals again.

Posted by: Vic | February 8, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards acquired Jamison for the Mavericks for a draft pick that turned out to be Devin Harris. This was clearly a great trade for the Wizards, but I think its interesting that Devin Harris is a complimentary piece for the Mavs, while Jamison is one of the "big three" for the Wizards.

It shows you how far the Wizards still have to go toward being an elite team. They need more depth and overall talent. Not a KG, but a solid line up of legit and solid NBA rotation players. Jarvis Hayes doesn't cut it. Blatche is promising, but still miles away from being a player you can count on to show up every night.

This team is on track and ahead of schedule. They just aren't there yet.

50 wins, competitive 2nd round of the playoffs. Enjoy it and don't get too caught up in expecting too much so quickly.

Posted by: Wei | February 8, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Completely agree with Wei,

The team is what it is, obviously we could stand to make some upgrades, but we have some quality parts that we should try to build around.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. I think this team is going to surge after the allstar break again. The season is long, and lulls are to be expected.

Posted by: greg | February 8, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

To throw more gasoline onto the Arvis debate and simultaneously tie into Michael's post, the way Ginobili was hitting open treys in the 4th to seal the deal when it looked like we might have a sliver of comeback in us, that's exactly what you expect from a guy like Jarvis.

You have to have guys on your bench who are ice cold killers that can give you a lift when you need it, but beyond all, who everyone on the floor knows can hit the big shot. We don't have any of those guys on our bench.

Posted by: Gack | February 8, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Great post Michael. And you didn't even mention Bruce Bowen, who is "old" too, and really shut down Caron Butler last night. That game was over after six minutes, which is really disheartening for those of us who shelled out cash to watch it in person.
After last season, and particularly the recurring nightmare of Antawn allowing Lebron to get a layup at the end of the playoffs, you would have thought this team would be ultimately, completely focused on defense this year. But nothing has changed. Nothing. If possible, they may be worse. Gilbert still takes silly risks. Etan and Brendan grow invisible in the lane. Defense wins championships in the NBA. Yeah, it's a cliche. But Dallas has moved theirs up a notch this year. S.Ant is already great. It's why Phoenix won't win it all.
And why is Jarvis Hayes still in the NBA? He's a 6-8 guy who plays 6-4, can't shoot and can't guard anyone. What does he contribute? Just wondering.

Posted by: Kid TJ | February 8, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Every big man, pro to high school, should watch tapes of Duncan on defense. He doesn't go for blocks by swinging his arms. Instead, ANYtime someone comes into the lane, he makes himself as long as possible. Sometimes the ball hits his hand and he gets a block. Most of the time, though, he just gets his hand up between the ball and the basket, making it difficult for the player to take a good shot, leading to tons of misses (especially last night).

Posted by: Joe | February 8, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I love all the guys who bash Jarvis... Who among you have taken 2 years off from competing at a high level in any endeavor, whether work or sport, and performed as if you never left, or as many fans expect, better than when you left? Because the answer is no one, fans' expectations are unreasonable. Therefore, the appropriate observation that people should be making is that Jarvis is not ready to contribute, and truthfully, he may never be an effective player.

That being said, it does not follow that fans have nothing to complain about. Instead, fans' frustrations should be directed at Eddie Jordan for putting Jarvis in a position in which he cannot succeed, further eroding whatever confidence he has left. It is preposterous that Jarvis is in the starting lineup, particularly at the 4 (I can't believe that even as I wrote it). He can't gaurd that position, can't rebound at that position, and his inability to make jump shots fails to spread the defense.

Posted by: MEG | February 8, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I second Joe's and Charles Jones' comments and MEG you are correct that putting Arvis at the 4 is bad for him. At the same time what position you play shouldn't effect your ability to make open jumpers when you get them.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

MEG, I agree that Jordan is putting Jarvis in an akward situation (I made that comment two weeks ago), but I totally disagree with everything else. Jarvis didn't take two years off. He was hurt. But that shouldn't stop him from making wide open jumpers. He had some bama named Fransisco checking him last night. Not once did Jarvis try to take him off the dribble. Look, I was in the cell phone business for 6 years before I left for another job. And when that position didn't work out (lasted for about a year), I went back to selling phones again. Once you've mastered a craft, it never leaves you. That's why guys like Jordan and Magic and Barkley, could still step on a court right now and nail a wide open 15 ft. jump shot. And even to a lesser extent, I bet Dennis Scott or Anthony Peeler can still step out and hit a few 3's. So Jarvis has no excuse to fall back on IMO. It seems as if he never developed any other skill while he was hurt. I know a knee is critical to a jump shooter but he never improved his ball handling skills or his passing. Greg Oden broke his shooting wrist and went out and does everything with his left now. He even shoots left handed free throws!! So its only gonna make him better when his wrist heals. What has Jarvis done to better himself?

Posted by: C.Bell | February 8, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

MEG...I agree with you to a certain extent. Jarvis is being put in bad positions by EJ and he is not the only one.
Although there have been athletes that have come back from a year or two off and performed well i.e. Jordan's baseball sabbatical comes to mind.

Hopefully he gets some game back soon! Plus, he's been back at this for months now. It's not like fans expected something immediately. They are just losing patience at this point!!!

I think his lateral speed and ball handling skills may not be up to NBA standards (even before knee injury too) and that hurts him almost as much as his ailing shot.

Posted by: Rob P | February 8, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I second parts of meg's posting. Everyone is so quick to write off someone after they have been injured. Bodies take time to heal, to strengthen, etc., especially from knee surgery. At the beginning of the season, sports writers (including the usual dopes at espn) were writing about how Amare Stoudamire was finished, he never would be an effective player again. Now, he's an all star. Right now, Jarvis is clearly not the same player he was before he was injured. To jump to the conclusion that he never will be is moronic. Time will tell. My hope for Jarvis this season was that he not have a physical setback so that this summer he could really work on his game and have a Caron Butler time of summer. And I hope that this season has taught him he needs to become a more complete player, not just a gunner. I still think that long-term, if his health is sound, he will play 10 years in the league.

(By the way, thankfully no one has cranked up the "Songalia stinks" bankwagon yet. It's a matter of time, though, with this crowd. He has looked terrible so far, but who would have expected otherwise? Hopefully he is healthier come April, and in top shape next November.)

Posted by: Steve | February 8, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or does it seem like the Wiz gets no breaks against any elite team, east or west. I mean, it didn't even look like a home game yesterday with those calls. And another thing, where are the REAL FANS hiding? I was at the Phx game and the game against the Lakers, and you would've thought the Wiz was the road team! I know tickets are a grip now, but we true fans need to really come out and support this team. I'm tired of going to games and hear louder cheers for Steve Nash, and A.I. and Kobe than Gilbert and Caron.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 8, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Nice post C.Bell. We have the same opinion on Jarvis. No improvement in ball handling and yeah I guess his passing is not great or improved either.

Caron has showed how you can improve through hard work. Particularly when it comes to ball handling. The Caron of today is nothing like the Caron that entered the league. In fact, he is our best front court ball handler and probably one of the best in the league now!

Who knows...maybe he has put in the time and just not improved.

Posted by: Rob P | February 8, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice discussion guys but let's face it, the Wiz got a jolt of reality last night from the team that will go all the way to reclaim their Championship standing. :)

Posted by: SpursFaninDC | February 8, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Wiz's swag now?

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | February 8, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

It's right where we left it Bridgewater. Still first in the division.

Bottom line, we are going to be in the playoffs, and the only thing that matters is what occurs once we get there. In a very real sense, EJ's job from here on out is to win just enough games to secure a beneficial seeding, and get this team playing on the same page, especially the youngsters.

Wheeeeeeeee!

Posted by: Gack | February 8, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Steve, Songalia has stunk, but it's been a couple of games. Plus, he is back sooner than expected unlike Jarvis. So, he'll get leeway just as Jarvis did. Jarvis has just tried the patience of the fans for too long now.

If Songalia is still stinking in three months, then get back to us.

Posted by: Rob P | February 8, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Meg, everyone else says that they agree with you then proceeds to disagree. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to disagree from the start. Jarvis Hayes is a liar. He lied to everyone who watched him play in college and called his boys up to say that this dude was next; then almost fell out of his chair when he fell to the zards at 10 then came into camp with the worst shot selection in the history of basketball.

He holds the record for # of longest 2 point attempts ever, never gets to the rim, and lost all his basketball instincts somewhere along the line (miss-timing jumps, fumbling the ball out of bounds on fast breaks, bad hands etc.). When he was healthy, he stunk. He's been back for more than half a season. How long does it take?

Finally, you say he took 2 years off. This isn't jordan playing baseball where he's removed from the game. The guy can still shoot during the off-season and do some work on his busted up game. Sure he's had to rehab. But you've got to think back before the injury. This is a man who hasn't sniffed 40% from the field at any point in his career. He is a D1 chucker, not a shooter because shooters make shots.

He is now 'arvis hayes because he lacks a 'J'.

His terrible play is one of our primary weaknesses. We have 0 reliable depth with regards to players who can score.

Posted by: Bernard King | February 8, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

With regards to C.Bell's post about real fans - the L.A. Times mentioned in their article about the Wiz/Lakers game that Kobe was booed in the pre-game and during the 1st quarter like in no other visiting arena. That made me proud. But then again, during the L.A. telecast of the game, I saw a lot of people wearing Laker jerseys - that bummed me out.

When I was a season ticket holder in the early 90's at the Capital Centre, the Celtics, Bulls and Knicks fan contingent was always louder than the home team rooters.

Let's get out there in the last half of the season and into the playoffs and turn the Phone Booth into a loud, crazed home arena where visiting teams can't hear themselves think.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 8, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I dont think thats fair to the wizards fans to say we havent been loud. I have season tickets and the fans have been very adequate considering the fact that this team is not even really a contender.

I wasnt at the spurs game, but at the lakers game there was an interesting dynamic. kobe was booed lustily throughout the game by wiz fans, and by far the biggest cheers were heard for wiz plays. there were however a couple big cheers for the lakers.

sometimes it does get loud for the opposing team (like when kobe did the reverse dunk) when there is a decent amount of fans for the opposing teams. and i agree that it can be annoying

but think about why that happens. lets use kobe's dunk in the lakers game as an example. when kobe dunked the wiz fans either went completely quiet or maybe booed a little. Meanwhile the lakers fans in attendance had one of their few chances to get loud.

another part is this: how many lakers fans at the game do you really think were from LA? 10-15% maybe? So that means the rest of these people are frontrunners and bandwagon fans. these people tend to be the most obnoxious and soulless people on earth. with that said it shouldnt be surprising that these frontrunners would be as loud and obnoxious as humanly possible.

therefore even when opposing team fans get loud, there arent as many of them there as you would assume from the noise.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 8, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not defending Jarvis' play. He takes terrible shots. My point is, if he stinks, he shouldn't play, and he certainly shouldn't be starting. I went on to surmise that the reason he is as bad as, if not worse than, when he first came into the league is directly related to the two knee injuries he suffered which are particularly devestating to an athlete who depends upon running and jumping.

If I am correct, Jarvis initially broke/cracked his patella and then reaggrveted the injury and had surgery. The patella is part of the the tendon that connects all the muscels in your thigh to your lower leg. It bears significant forces associated with flexion and extension of the knee. In order for such an injury to heal, the entire leg has to be immobolized for a significant amount of time, and during the post-immobilization recovery period the amount of force (muscle contraction) that the tendon can withstand can gradually increase. So, contrary to most posts, Jarvis' ability to work on his jump shot was severely restricted for much of the time. His fitness surely suffered b/c he probably could not run, and swimming doesn't really translate well to the basketball court. Accordingly, I wouldn't make any assumptions about how much time he could have devoted to improving his game. Evidence would suggests that he didn't have much.

Like Steve said, it takes time for guys to come back from knee injuries. And even if Jarvis does get back physically to where he was before his injuries, he may never become the type of player who fooled Bernard King into believing that a Championship rested on his shoulders.

Posted by: MEG | February 8, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with BK up there. People seem to have forgotten how Jarvis used to play. He used to play the same way he is playing now. He shoots under 40% for his whole career. He's never been a great shooter, so this slump has nothing to do with injuries or how he is utilized by EJ. Fans just hoped that this year he could show why he should be considered an asset to this team. Every time Jarvis is open for a shot, as a fan, I really hope it goes in. But I'm one of those fans who is tired of being heartbroken when he can't hit a wide open shot. What the Wizards need is someone like Juan Dixon. What I mean by that is someone who has shot making ability off the bench. Dixon could sit most of the game, come in late in the second half and still hit 2 or 3 buckets in a row. He didn't need to warm up, or feel his way into a game. He is a shooter. Jarvis doesn't seem to have that ability. I hope he gets better, but I just haven't seen signs that a new and improved Jarvis is going to show up.

Posted by: KD | February 8, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with Meg. there is no way to work on your jump shot with the injury Jarvis was coming off of. So his shot being off with the length of layoff that he had isn't surprising.
Putting him at the 4 puts him in the akward position that he has to keep shooting long jumpers to try and pull his man away from the hoop to help space the offense. I think the fans groans are really starting to get in his head now.
At full health SA has got to be the toughest matchup for the Wiz in the league outside of the Heat with a healthy Shack. Seems like people have been ready to write them off but they wouldn't surprise me if they'd go on one of their 18 out of 20 streaks in the second half.
We just need to keep treading water until AJ gets back and Darius gets in shape. Remember the guy wasn't going to start playing until after the break, so he's working at getting his legs under him and trying to adjust to game speed and get his rythem all at the same time. Players useally try take it one step at a time.
Eddie is smart to pick his spots with Blatch. We don't need a guy like Duncan taking him apart, it's a building process don't throw the kid to the wolves yet. Let Eddie pick the matchups that the kid can go out do some good things and build his confidence. For now he's a great high energy guy.
Having now seen Dallas,SA and the Suns one thing really strikes me, the top Western Conf. teams have elevated moving picks and screens and handfuls of shorts to an art form! I know EVERYBODY tries to move on the pick and roll but the lack of offensive fouls in those three games was, well offensive! Talk about not getting a call on your home floor!
SA maybe old but that group of Vets schooled us on the little things guys do to get open if there's no whistle. Just a smart Vet team that is used to the playoffs.

Posted by: GM | February 8, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"The Wiz are younger and probably just as talented but did not play well as a team."

Sorry guys, I didn't really look through all of the posts but this is in my mind is the most accurate of last nights game.

It's crazy to think I remember watching Tim Duncan play Maryland in his senior season at Wake. He was a foot taller then anyone else around him and no one could stop him. I was courtside at that game, albeit with food poisioning, but I was really happy I saw that game.

San Antionio has played with each other for YEARS....YEARS.

It's not that the Wiz doesn't have talent, because they flatly do. They just aren't San Antonio yet. Give it a few years then people might be saying the same thing about the Wiz.

The ONLY criticism I have of the Wiz last night is that they came out flat AGAIN. They have got to stop that crap because people are taking them seriously now.

I think San Antonio is the best team the Wiz have played this year. They'll be in the thick of things at the end of the season and it wouldn't surprise me if they won the whole thing.

"I love all the guys who bash Jarvis..."

That's because he deserves to be bashed, it's not like he just started playing after two years. I agree with BK on this. He's played in all 47 games this year, not just the last three or four. Hayes just can't play, period. His shot is flawed and as many have stated he can't even hit an open shot....that is why he gets booed. He shoots bricks. They run plays to him, he's open, and he still shoots bricks.

I've been crying for Booth in place of Jamison to start but it's not going to happen because Jordan loves "smallball." I've never really been a Jordan fan and many on here can vouch for that. It's more then half way through the season and he is still trying to figure out his rotations. The Wiz win despite of him and many games he's been outcoached with less talent on those teams. The Lakers loss was a perfect example, no way they should have lost that.

"In defense of the wizards, missing Jamison is a big deal, in the same way that missing parker or ginobli would be for the Spurs."

It is a big deal like CJ says and I know BK disagrees with me on this. :) Caron and Gil clearly TRUST Jamison where they might not feel the same way with others on the team. Jordan just mentioned as much after the Toronto loss. He's a leader on this team and it's hard to replace someone who does 20/10 even if he can't play D.

One thing having Jamison on the floor does is put pressure on the other team to score. That's definately a big deal.

Even with Jamison though the Spurs are the better team, but again they have been playing together for years AND have won championships together.

I'm not so down after last night, maybe they will finally realize they need to work harder at some things to be considered one of the "elites."

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 8, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Gotta agree with Meg. there is no way to work on your jump shot with the injury Jarvis was coming off of."

Not trying to pick on you, but to me that's like saying he didn't do anything but sit on his butt for two years.

Songaila had BACK surgery at the beginning of November and he's playing now.

Sorry I just don't buy it, especially when it comes to sports medicine.

Good grief, Amare had something EVEN WORSE then what Hyaes had....microfracture surgery. Now tell me that Hayes had it worse then that?

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 8, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Moving screen. That's all I'll say.

Posted by: MG | February 8, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

If Arvis played for S.A., he'd be about the 11th guy off the bench. I was all for giving him a chance at the beginning of the season; we're now well more than halfway through the season, and there has been NO improvement that I can see. Maybe if he was getting a little better each game, I'd feel differently. But he doesn't. He is a dog, plain and simple. Every time he goes up for a jumper, I say "Oh no" out loud - literally.

On another note - I hope Gil breaks out of his shooting slump soon. He has been really off on his three-pointers, and he doesn't seem to have his confident stroke of Dec.-Jan.

Posted by: Keithinator | February 8, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Enuff already with the excuses for Jarvis. He shot 40% his rookie year without injury. In his second year he shot 39% before he was injured. He remains a 39-40% shooter.
Hitting a 19 ftr and getting to the basket in college is much easier because you aren't playing the best of the best every night. Sometimes college success doesn't translate to the next level. Jarvis had everyone fooled with that pretty looking stroke. I bet he really strokes it in practice. The problem is the team needs the ball to go in the basket during games.

Posted by: LH | February 8, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember watching Jarvis light up Stegman Collesium in Athens, and I always root for him, but I think he's done. Gone. Next year, we'll see him come off the bench for some garbage time minutes, but he'll be coming off the Clippers bench, the Sixers bench, the Hornets bench. I wish you had made a better mark while you were here, man.

I was really impressed with Blatche's energy and hustle last night. Half a year experience and then a summer of weight training, and hopefully he'll be that solid inside man that the Wiz have lacked over the past several years. If only Brenden Haywood were still alive to provide some semblence of defense in the paint, then we might have a chance of getting out of the first round. With Blatche's physique and Brendan's/Etan's soft, squishy centers, I can't imagine getting past Miami or Orlando or Detroit or Chicago or whoever else the East upchucks into the remaining playoff positions.

Posted by: ThingsThatShine | February 8, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I think my 3 month nephew has better hands than Brandon Haywood. Does he have small hands or just is awkward? Trade him and jarvis for magloire. Magloire could be a beast in the east.

Posted by: Justin | February 8, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Justin. Magloire could be a beast in the East -- if he was any good.

Posted by: Dave | February 8, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I was at the Lakers game. Kobe's cheers were louder than for Arenas. Kobe Jerseys were everywhere. I have been to a number of games and I hadn't seen that kind of fan support for an opposing player outside of Allen Iverson when he was with Philly and we know that's the Georgetown connection.

Posted by: PTP23 | February 8, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Justin,

Magloire hasn't been a beast in the paint for about 3 seasons now! He has no energy or explosiveness from his earlier years in the league. Sad thing is, he's not all that old b/c big men play much longer in sports.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | February 8, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"Trade him and jarvis for magloire."

Oh God no!

Everything I've read is he is just as bad.

Food for thought quoted from an article by Mike "I love Kobe" Lee back in October on Hayes:

"During his rehab, Hayes said he received the best encouragement possible when he crossed paths with Jordan -- the man responsible for selecting Hayes -- who told him, "If I had to do it again, I'd still draft you number 10."

Andddddd......

"When asked about the decision not to have surgery initially, Grunfeld said: "That was the advice we had from our medical staff, and we don't second-guess that. At the time, it was a very uncommon thing to have happen again."

So why do I get the feeling that he's playing more and more out of guilt from the organization??

Someone on here posted not too long ago about how bad the medical staff is for the Wiz.

**insert scary music**

;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 8, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Trade Hayes and Haywood for Magloire. Ha!

As John Hollinger said (and I'm paraphrasing), it would be downright funny to see the league's slowest player play on the league's fastest team. He was referring to Phoenix, but the Wizards are #2, so it also means them.

And with Hayes, I wish he could get his legs back and get better, but the Wizards simply don't have the time. They've been patient with him, and he hasn't really gotten any better. Add that to the fact that he'll be a FA after the year (meaning that, to continue being patient, they need to invest more money in him), and we just can't wait anymore. And, as BK says, he wasn't really that great to begin with.

So yes, we do have the right to criticize Jarvis. He, and Eddie, deserve it.

Bullets forever, your Washington Wizards blog.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 8, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

GM - agree with your comment about moving screens. I recorded the SA game and watched it again tonight.

On almost every screen-and-roll, the SA bigs were moving. Either Duncan, Oberto, or Elston!

One play was extremely blatant. Duncan set the screen, then moved Arenas about 6 feet towards the lane.

How hard is it to see that a guy is moving on a screen and roll - and when are the refs gonna crack down on it. Talk about getting an offensive advantage!

Posted by: Rook | February 9, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Given the injuries to the Wizards' big men this year, I wonder if Grunfeld ever called Keith Van Horn? Van Horn played in Milwaukee when Grunfeld was there, correct?

Posted by: Jim | February 9, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Just great.

The Wiz lose thier butts and they get the day off?

Something just doesn't seem right to me about that.

Sounds like someone is trying to imitate Phil Jackson to me. :/

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 9, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Man this bashing hayes stuff gets old.

Sure lets throw Blatche in the game he shooting what a whopping 37%

The Wizards bench.

Hayes 39.3%
Blatche 37.7%
Taylor 34.7%
Mason 31.4%
Booth 39.5%

FT%

Hayes 79.1%
Blatche 59.1%
Taylor 58.3%
Mason 50%
Booth 50%

I'll freely admit that he has not lived up to the hype a number 10 pick comes with. But he is clearly one of the best options off the bench at this point and time other then sticking Etan in at the 4. And given his injury history I'm willing to cut the dude some slack. But the team has gone thru a bad stretch so everyone is looking for a red-headed step child to smack around.

Posted by: dc | February 9, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Too true, dc. For some, it's gotten so that Hayes can't miss a shot in their eyes.

Posted by: Dave | February 9, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Gack,Like I said they've elevated it to an art form. Somtimes NBA games are starting to look like a park game where fouling is supposed to be on an honor system. No one EVER calls an offensive foul because they don't want to call attention to the fact they just got beat!
Ray, I've agreed with you that Jarvis should never be starting at 4. I'm surprised that we didn't see more of Booth early on Duncan because at the moment I think that's about all we have. We don't need him schooling Blatch and he would have, he may look soft to some but he eats guys alive if they're not up to matching up to him in the post. He will call for the ball every time down if he has a miss match.
I'm glad that you must still have two healthy knees. I'm not excusing Jarvis's jump shot I was just agreeing with Meg's point that with the injury he had he couldn't have spent two years working on his jump shot as had been stated.
Anyone who's had knee surgery and rehabbed can tell you a jump shot is about the last thing you're released to work on. And shooting flat footed useally just messes up your jumper. Hey I'm 50 yrs old but I still have a one hander that I developed after knee surgery. Maybe someone should teach one to Jarvis or maybe a two hand set shot. He's so open he's never shooting over anyone.
He reminds me of the guy(I think it was Alexander) that we got in the Howard deal and then sent to the Hornets for the draft pick for Dixion. I think people took to calling him clank. Beautiful form, great elevation and then it hit the rim. I think that sometimes guys screw up their jumper with getting too much elevation. I wouldn't know I never could jump.

Posted by: GM | February 9, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Man this bashing hayes stuff gets old."

I agree with you DC, but he's on the floor an awful lot for someone who is "still getting his shot." The one thing that gets my goat is the minutes Hayes plays. Sure his shot is off and I think we can all agree on that. But he gets MORE minutes and now starts?

If you're going to compare stats then you have to compare minutes played.

I really don't understand that and you can only look at Jordan for that one. Again, maybe it's out of guilt, who knows.

"Maybe someone should teach one to Jarvis or maybe a two hand set shot."

I've never really considered Jordan as the "teacher" type as I think coaches should be. I think he's a good coordinator, but nothing more.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 9, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse


a couple of Wizards articles in unusual places today. first, the WSJ has an article about Gil that's pretty interesting. you need a subscription to access it online, however.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117103789687403777.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

second, the Post has a valentine's day couples stories article that includes ruffin. as an aside, i wonder if ruffin is the smartest player in the nba, in terms of academic/school smarts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/08/AR2007020800445.html


finally, a quick comment on blatche. i love his energy and his rebounding. but someone please tell him to stop shooting long jumpers. look at guys like rip hamilton and caron butler to a lesser extent. they take years of practice to increase their range by a couple of feet. hamilton takes plenty of long two-pointers, but he doesn't stretch it to there pointers all that often because he knows his range. eventually, he'll improve enough in practice so that he'll shoot more three-pointers. blatche has to do the same thing. maybe one day he'll be like dirk, but he's not there yet. stick to shots 10 feet and in until you're making the longer shots at an 80%+ clip in practice (see arenas/stevenson contest for an example of how well NBA players shoot when not guarded and in practice).

Posted by: AC | February 9, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ray, hope you weren't taking the Two hand set shot seriously! I think we'd have to look for a long time to find an NBA player who ever shot one. Last guy I ever saw use one was Lefty in his pregame shoot out with Billy Packer back in the 70's at Cole Field House.
I think Bob Cousy used one but I've only seen films of him playing in the NBA. Monte Towe who's big claim to fame was throwing the Ally Oop(that's what they called the Lob back then) to David Thompson had a shot that he kind of heavied up like a set shot. I know that he played with Thompson at Denver of the old ABA, but I don't remember if he ever played in the NBA.
And when Manute Bol played for Nellie at Golden State they taught him something that looked like a two hander and I think he hit a few of them from three point range because no one came out to gaurd him. Maybe that's it we could hire Manute Bol to be Jarvis's shooting coach!

Posted by: GM | February 9, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Ray, hope you weren't taking the Two hand set shot seriously!"

Nah. :)

But I doubt Jordan could teach him one if he tried. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 9, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

>>>On almost every screen-and-roll, the SA bigs were moving. Either Duncan, Oberto, or Elston!

>>>How hard is it to see that a guy is moving on a screen and roll - and when are the refs gonna crack down on it. Talk about getting an offensive advantage!

True, but refs tend to call it when there is contact and the screen is resisted. Turn it into a defensive pick and punish the guy, or go flying and flailing. We need a few Argentinian soccer players of our own to flop and stagger and call attention to fouls.
-----------

>>>>>blatche has to do the same thing. maybe one day he'll be like dirk, but he's not there yet. stick to shots 10 feet and in until you're making the longer shots at an 80%+ clip in practice

Thing is Blatche has catapult range in practice, evidenced by various summer camp videos. Problem is, his wind-up and release are at the same causal okey-dokey speed that shows up as the primary drawback in alot of his game (lazy one-hand passes, slow footwork on defense).

Bulletproof needs to work some two-man sets with AntDan (for instance) on standard screen-roll/ pick & pop stuff-- where he's the finisher not the creator/showboat. And run it at up-tempo game speed. I think the presense of Songaila as player/tutor could be a major benefit for him down the line.

~~~Minor regrets that 'Proof didn't get his minutes at UConn and train under noted hardass Jim Calhoun~~~

...Regrets retracted when I realize we wouldn't have drafted him with our 2nd round (and only) pick in that draft.

Posted by: doclinkin (realgm.com/boards) | February 9, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

On Jonas' twin.

(Eddie's sole act as GM for this team. Since GMEG wasn't recruited 'til after the draft, per Uncle Abe's pal Milwuakee senator/Bucks owner Uncle Herb -- didn't they get TJ Ford then? Still it makes you wonder which diamond in the rough Erndawg might have taken with that #10 pick...)

So we're 'more athletic' with Jarvis. Right, whatever that means. I guess that means uptempo. Earlier in the year Defensive tracking charts showed that the opponent's offense (even FG%) was worse when they played at the Wiz' preferred uptempo pace

--(I hesitate to suggest that the Wiz' defense improved at the faster pace: maybe, but it's more likely that the wiz are accustomed to the style and other teams have a tendency to jack ill-considered shots in the excitement of the moment)--

But jarvis contributes nothing to an uptempo pace except for jacking up quick shots.

He can't dribble, moves well without the ball around the perimeter, but does nothing good with the rock when it arrives to him. Doesn't steal especially well, defensive rebounding is mediocre to initiate the attack, doesn't pass all that well on the outlet or otherwise, doesn't catch and finish on the other end when galloping at raiding-horde speed.

And thing is this, none of it, is any different than it ever was. He was okay the first month of his career. then the scouting reports arrived and he was shut down. He'd getcha a few double digit games, but rarely at a good % clip.

The only difference then and now is that he doesn't even swoop to the basket anymore.
That's about the only part of his stinkage you can blame on his injury. Dude is forgiveably gunshy.

Snapped kneecap? I wouldn't want it to happen once-- much less a second helping. So I get it: he's ascared of the rim, nervious in traffic. And maybe too his hops haven't shown up following the surgery.

Used to be Jarvis was the only alley-oop threat the team had. This is the one aspect of the hybrid NBA/Princeton game that has never shown itself in DC. There are so many nasty undefendable backdoor attacks when you can play the passing lanes ABOVE the heads of the defenders. This is the game that made KMart an Allstar in the land of buried mobsters.

When the goggle-eyed Sea Monkey known as Steve Blake was with this squad he and Jarvis had more than a few quick-trigger oop-throwdowns. (Some in-real play, more in summer league).

Jarvis' particular limited skillset works best with a true set-up man at the 1-spot. He needs someone to lead him one-to-zero dribbles away from the basket, or to catch-up on a standstill spot-up so he doesn't have to jump while guarded. Suddenly: boom. Confidence, etc. follows. Hey maybe he even hits a jumpshot. They always say to refind your range make a few lay-ups first.

But he's not a great fit for the all-motion, dribble and savvy fiveman attack of the Princeton/NBA hybrid.

Still. At least he looks active out there. He's trying. God knows he's trying hard. That's sort of the pitiable aspect, he seems like a genuinely nice guy.
---

Indicentally, ain't it something to think we haven't even seen the half of what the real princeton NBA game could be?

Just imagine if we had a shooting guard who could also dribble and attack, and a big man who could finish down low...

I lie awake at night dreaming.

-doc.


Posted by: doc again (realgm wizboards) | February 9, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally bug Kevin Broome, the Wiz' unofficial defensive statistician for the defensive tracking charts. He goes by the handle TheSecretWeapon on the realGM Wizboards and you've heard him from time to time on the Sportstalk980 Wizard's Wrap-up with Scott Jackson last year.

This man deserves some consultation fees from the Wiz front office, he's doing some decent things with numbers that'll tell you where the Wiz go wrong and how to fix it.

Posted by: -doc | February 9, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Acie Law IV and Pecherov could fill those roles in your dreams Doclinkin.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 9, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yep. O-Pec does feature. It's a strange thing to find myself dreaming of a goofy awkward-looking 7 foot tall Ukranian. But I wake up smiling. He's got big hands, soft touch and check out the foundation:

http://www.bckiev.com.ua/img/photo/1164607641.jpg

Big calves on this former soccer player, nice footwork and good hops. And I liked his chemistry with 'Dray over the summer. They seemed to click, in personality and play. His Euronumbers aren't great this year, but the potential is there.

And his passing out of the highpost is a definate plus for the Princeton game.

Yeh, I'm a certifiable Pecherhead.

--
Now I like the clutch gunner, but Acie Law is a mite small for my dreams. Very Juan Dixon-esque. Not that we couldn't use JDix off the bench this year...

But, okay maybe we won't qualify to draft a real sky-climbing blacktop acrobat. Still I'd like a decent sized ath-elite to pair with Arenas. The regulation 6'6"+. But for some reason they seem rare nowadays.

(This is the era of the Small Forward right now.)

Still, I put my faith in Ernie and sleep easy. We'll get somebody good.

Posted by: -doclinkin | February 9, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: doclinkin | February 9, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

We sure as hell could use Dixon off the bench right about now. It would be great if the Blazers released him (I know it will never happen).

Posted by: George Templeton | February 9, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: doc channelling Ray | February 9, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"Indicentally, ain't it something to think we haven't even seen the half of what the real princeton NBA game could be?"

Well, I'm not laying awake at night but yeah I've thought about this many times with a true #1 on this team.

Gil's numbers would go up, if that's crazy enough to think.

"Yeh, I'm a certifiable Pecherhead."

Put it back in your pants Doc! ;) ;)

I think he'll be solid next year for the Wiz. EG said they expect to have him on the roster next year.

I was really sad to see Juan Dixon leave here also George. Not because I'm from UMD but because he provided that *spark* off the bench. But alas, they drafted Hayes and said Dixon was pronounced too small....again.

It's cool to have loyalties like Jordan has to Hayes, but it can also shoot you in the a$$.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 9, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm here in Portland and see Juan play pretty often. He's a streaky shooter -- 42% this year but that's with a lot of 5-6 games and 1-9 games. He kills you on defense but hustles and is a floor leader. A good guy, nice to have on a team.

From what I've seen of Hayes, I'd take Juan. Imagine Juan's drive and brains in a Hayes-size body!

But if Juan was our first shooter of the bench then we'd be on the level of, well, Portland. He ain't an answer, especially on defense.

BTW - Note to Ernie Grunfeld -- drafts aren't just for mildly increasing fan interest in the Wizards in the Former Soviet Union. Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Sergio Rodruiguez (taken 26th or 27th) will all be very good pros and are contributing now.

Posted by: Spork | February 9, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

You guys complain about AJ's defense, but all I remember about JD, was him getting posted up or driven by in between 20+ pts game.

Yeah we could use his bench scoring. But we can't be -5 with him in the game.

Posted by: Victor | February 10, 2007 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Dixon is definitely not the answer. He was a great streaky shooter from the floor, and a consistent free throw shooter, but a severe liabilty as others have said on defense.

On a night like the Chicago playoff game when he dropped something like 27 points he made up for the deficiency; I also remember a game against the Pacers when he had something like 4 steals--3 in a 2 minute sequence. On balance though he was a liability. I'd definitely take a consistently shooting Jarvis Hayes over Dixon at SG or SF.

Having said that I wish EJ would start Blatche or Boothe at the 4. Blatche, in particular, has a much better upside on the boards, and long-term I think the minutes will make him a quality NBA starter sooner rather than later.

Posted by: JP2 | February 10, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Great! (I'm saying this sarcastically) - Brendan and Etan got in another fight at practice and Etan has been suspended for 2 games......just what we need right now!

Posted by: Lisa | February 10, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You'd think Pecherov would want into the NBA as quickly as possible, if only to get away from those uniforms. Is he playing for the Ukrainian Globetrotters? Yikes.

I thought I would log on this morning and see 50 postings about the Haywood-Thomas rematch. You guys surprise me sometimes.

Posted by: Joe | February 10, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

If there was any lingering question, we seem to have a definitive answer to why EJ never plays Etan & Brendan at the same time. Seems Etan really blew it. Assuming Brendan got a bit rough during practice, and is still steamed about his minutes and an embarrassing loss, it's still completely inappropriate for Etan to respond with blows, especially in front of all the bosses. Can't imagine Grunfield will put up with this indefinitely - neither is indespensible, or even close.

Posted by: reispace | February 10, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The two game suspension is because Etan was dumb enough to throw punches, which you sure do not need in a game situation. Othewise, both players are staying put as I believe management actually likes the friction between the two of them. They just need to refocus their hostility onto the competition and bolster our soft interior defense with some boxing out.

Posted by: cw | February 10, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Guys don't have to like each other off the court for a team to be successful on the court. But neither of these guys is good enough to provide this type of distraction.

I'm a little surprised to see that the team didn't bench both guys as a way of sending a zero tolerance message.

Posted by: JP2 | February 10, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting to read Etan's candid comments about Brendan "Todd" Haywood in this morning's article. It's obvious the two despise each other. This is a situation where team capt. AJ or superstar Zero or both need to step in and negotiate a peace treaty between the big men.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 10, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's what's interesting to me about Todd vs. Etan.
1. Before Etan was hurt this year, he was playing the best ball of his career. Haywood is playing the best ball of his career this season, and has said that he plays better angry. Maybe a little dustup now and then isn't the worst thing.
2. Team officials saw the incident, and only suspended Etan. And did so for 2 games -- you would think with a practice scuffle, there would be no suspension or 1 game at most. Two games suggests they are kind of ticked off at Etan.

Posted by: Dave | February 10, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Look you are not going to get susp. for two games for an elbow during a game (at least not most of the time) but if you punch a guy you get at least one game and who knows maybe a lot more. Etan should know better and he does, I think he isn't sorry for what he did, but he knew it was wrong. But I have to agree with Etan why in the hell do you have to elbow your teammate in practice. Save it for someone who deserves it (Wade, LeBron etc.)

Posted by: George Templeton | February 10, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Where are Ivan and Michael? There was a fight between Etan & Haywood and they seem to have disappeared.

Posted by: Lisa | February 10, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Awaiting comment from Haywood's agent and/or mommy...

Posted by: Wei | February 10, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Where are Ivan and Michael? There was a fight between Etan & Haywood and they seem to have disappeared."

They tend do that on the weekends Lisa. :)

I've always said on here I thought Etan was soft. Intentional or not he just needs to suck it up and play.

Clearly the team thought that Etan was the instigator in this or they wouldn't have suspended him for two games.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 10, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

How many more thug-life moves does Etan have to make before he gets canned? It's quite obvious now from the fact that only Etan got suspended that he's the one who instigated the fight earlier this year. What a baby, he throws punches in front of his bosses because an elbow touched him when he was boxing out for positioning under the basket? Send him to the golf course where pansies like him play a non-contact sport.

On the other article in today's paper, is there anything we can do to prevent immiment doom that is Michael Ruffin's return from injury?

Posted by: Mike | February 10, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Mike, what are you talking about? Ruffin is a good defensive player and he does not play for many minutes anyway. With Jamison out and Etan suspended, we need all the help we can get!

Posted by: Lisa | February 10, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Etan a thug?

Less people forget he did have his eye socket broken, I still have a hard time looking at his eye when he shoots foul shots.

As a result of that I'm guess he gets a little testy when someone throwing bows in practice.

Posted by: dc | February 10, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Ray,

Ivan and Michael are reporters....and NBA reporters at that. Games (and NBA news) are not limited to weekdays.

Posted by: Lisa | February 10, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Etan got suspended cause he threw the punches, not really much management can do but suspend him. Brendon threw an elbow in the course of the game, kind of Nocioni style, and it was dirty but not suspension worthy, and its not like a team is going to suspend their #1 and #2 centers.

I think its clear both are at fault here, and given each person's maturity level, I give the benefit of the doubt to Etan. Don't forget Brendan got suspended last year, so no one's clean.

Brendon's the baby, and Etan got baited, unfortunately. Etan speaks directly to the media and goes on record, takes responsibility for his actions and words. Brendon has his agent do his dirty work for him.

Posted by: Wei | February 10, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Mike" are you sure you don't go by the name "Brendan Haywood" in your professional life?

First you think an entire game recap should have been dedicated to 20 point, 11 rebound performance; now you take a bunch of cheap shots at Etan calling him a "thug" and a "pansy". Gotta wonder . . .

Posted by: JP2 | February 10, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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